10 Things you didn't know about weight loss

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If you’ve ever tried and failed to lose weight, or you’re currently on a journey… you’re not alone.

In this post, I give you the REAL details on weight loss.

It seems like it should be easy right? Eat less move more.

But there is SO much more to it than that. I know first-hand through my period of weight gain and weight loss.

Many of the topics in this post aren’t “mainstream weight loss tips.” They’re the topics talked about much less, but play an important role in any weight loss journey or lifestyle change.

This includes topics like how to bust through a plateau, mindset techniques, how to have happy hormones, and basics of proper nutrition.

Let’s dig in!

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1. Weight loss is almost never linear

In a perfect world, the scale would go down consistently based on the amount of effort you put in.

As you and I both know, this world is far from perfect.

Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to the fluctuations in our weight, and sometimes there is! Just know that you are normal. Your weight on the scale WILL fluctuate daily based on water and food intake, inflammation, exercise, stress, and hormones.

What matters most is that your behavior around food and exercise is changing.

For more accurate results, avoid weighing yourself more than 1x per week (ideally at the same time of day).

 

2. Weight Loss shouldn’t be your life’s mission

 “But how can I get in shape and still have a life?”

Sister, I know it’s tempting to go full-on in weight loss mode and only come up for air once you’ve achieved that goal.

My word of advice: don’t.

The dangerous thing here is that this all-in weight loss mentality is not sustainable long-term. You’re actually not teaching your mind and body to handle real-life situations.

This is where most people re-gain all of the weight back! They think, “I’ll be OK to have that treat again when I lose the weight” or “I should avoid going to social gatherings with food until I’ve reached my goal weight.”

Live your life, go to parties and events, get a drink, go on vacation, do the fun things! 

But practice moderation and forming solid habits.

3. It takes more than exercise alone to lose weight

Ever heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Well it does hold some truth.

Exercise matters, yes. But without good nutritional habits, you won’t be quite as successful.

Research shows that weight loss clients lost significantly more weight with good nutrition and exercise together, verses exercise alone.

What does “good nutrition” look like? A few tips:

  • Opting for complex carbohydrates vs. simple sugars

  • Eating mostly foods that are fresh and unprocessed

  • Filling your plate with plenty of vegetables and fruit

  • Prepare most of your food at home

  • Not skipping meals

  • Getting plenty of healthy fats, lean proteins, nuts and seeds

It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to diet or deprive yourself.

Just apply some simple practices daily and go from there.

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4. Less food does not always mean more weight loss

“Eat less, move more” seems to be a popular weight loss recommendation.

I’m here to bust that myth.

While the intention is good, eating less than your body needs can have some negative side effects, too.

The thing is, if you restrict major calories long-term, your metabolism can take a major hit and actually store body fat. This is the opposite of what you what. To keep that metabolism firing and burning fat, it needs fuel!

Restriction in the short-term can even lead to feelings of deprivation or missing out. This can be unsustainable and lead to binge eating tendencies later.

Focus on NOURISHING your body with more of the RIGHT things, and calories won’t matter as much.

Related Post: Why your diet could be hurting you

 

5. Your hunger hormones can make or break your weight loss progress

We all have these little messengers, known as hormones, running around inside our body telling things how to function.

Our hormones can significantly impact our ability to sense hunger and fullness. Without getting into too much detail, here’s what you need to know:

Your body has hunger hormones: Leptin and Grehlin.

Leptin sends messages to the brain telling it “I’m full” whereas grehlin sends messages saying “I’m hungry.”

You need these hormones to function correctly, so you’re getting a real grasp on your hunger and fullness.

If we’re not getting enough sleep or loading up on sugar these hormones get out of whack, meaning it becomes harder to sense when we’re hungry vs. full.

For happy hormones:

·       Get an adequate amount of sleep (7-9 hours for most adults)

·       Avoid inflammatory foods like sugary drinks and fried foods

·       Get regular exercise

·       Eat a little protein at each meal for satiety

6. Weight loss happens faster in the beginning

If you’ve watched the Biggest Loser, this one may come as no surprise to you.

When you go from zero to sixty, it’s hard for your body not to change!

However, as your body learns to adapt to exercise and certain foods, it becomes resistant to change.

This is known as the dreaded plateau.

If you plateau, you likely need a new stimulus, like a new exercise plan or dietary change. 

If you get to the point where you are no longer seeing the pounds on the scale decrease, it may be time to shift your focus to fat loss. This will place more focus on optimizing the metabolism to burn fat vs. lose weight.

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7. Cardio is not the ONLY way to lose weight

I used to think cardio was the magic ticket.

I worked up a sweat and burned major calories!

While cardio does burn more calories during the workout than strength training does, lifting weights has its weight loss benefits too!

It’s the BEST way to build lean, toned muscle, fire up your metabolism, burn more calories at rest, and feel like a total badass.

If you’re not on the “strength train” try to factor that in a minimum of 2-3x per week. Be sure to get a coach or friend that can help you with form!

8. What worked for your friend is not guaranteed to work for you

The human body is complex. Yours is unique to YOU.

What helped your friend Sally Sue lose weight may work for you, but it also may not.

Before adopting a new diet, program, or lifestyle change ask yourself a couple questions:

  • Can I do this forever?

  • Does this sound fun to me?

While Sally Sue may be successful on keto or Whole 30, if that doesn’t sound fun or sustainable to you then it’s probably not a good solution.

Related Post: Using your intuition to gain more freedom in eating and exercise

9. There are no magic spices that help with weight loss

If I hear one more person say “I use tons of cinnamon and pepper so my metabolism is fast!” I’m going to flip a table.

While there is a small amount of research on this that indicated certain spices may speed up your metabolism, it’s insignificant.

Yeah, you might burn a few extra calories digesting it, but in the long game it really doesn’t have much effect.

Sorry if I bursted your bubble.

10. Lose the stress = lose the weight

Have you ever noticed that when you’re tired or stressed, you eat more?

Tying back into the hormones: when we lack sleep our body produces more grehlin which says “Feed me!” even when you may not truly be hungry.

Another factor playing strong here is the stress hormone, cortisol. When you’re under chronic stress your body is in fight or flight mode, and actually ends up telling your body to store fat.

To avoid this mess of fatigue, overeating, and stress aim for a proper bedtime. Get the sleep you NEED to perform and function the next day. If it helps, journal your to-do list for the next day before going to sleep to keep your mind from racing.

Related Post: How to workout when you’re stressed

You’re Turn!

Tell me in the comments:

Which topic resonated most with you? Which you could benefit from in your own life?

Keep moving XX,

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Hey! I’m Nicole.

Exercise Physiologist and Health Coach

I help women become their strongest self through functional strength and simple, habit-based nutrition.

Learn More.



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